Disneyland in Anaheim is a park that receives millions of visitors in a year. It’s the first one ever opened, and is most known for the fact. It is also known to have a major overcrowding problem, pushing ticket prices up seemingly every year. It’s an issue that especially affects socal locals, who not only need to plan around the traffic, but also be ready to drop a minimum of $200 a person. Which often pushes them away (unless you’re one of the ones who buys an annual pass and goes every weekend). But, if you are willing to splurge once a year or every other year, here’s a few habits my friends and I picked up trying to make the most out of our visits.
The first habit we picked up was going during “off seasons”. An “off season” are the seasons where tourist traffic is lower than average (late summer/early fall to december, january to april). You might think “but LA always has tourists.” That’s why I said lower than average traffic. The months are important, because they center around when people need to go back to school, and when they go one winter break. Going during an “off season” can make all the difference in wait times, which can be cut by as much as half. Choosing a weekday is also important, as it guarantees people will be in school (which helps if you have vacation during the quarter system, which is different from everyone else).
The second is to be very picky of where we get our food. Disneyland food is especially pricey, and you have to know where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. If you get a park hopper pass, I would just recommend that you go to California Adventure, where the food tends to be cheaper. But if you’re stuck in just Disneyland, go to Downtown Disney (you can always come back into the park). But the food in the New Orleans area of Disneyland isn’t bad.
The third habit we picked up was fast passing the biggest rides. You can only take out one fast pass at a time, but its worth getting them for Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, and Splash Mountain. Those tend to be the rides within Disneyland park that have the longest waits (although Matterhorn can be up to 110 minute wait, as well). In California Adventure, getting a fast pass for Cars Ride, and Guardians of the Galaxy are the ones you need to get. While getting the fast pass for the ride is helpful, if the lines are short enough, it may just be more worth it just to wait in the line.
The last important habit I can say is try to stay all day. You have the make the most out of your trip, especially if it was a hassle getting there in the first place, and staying all day and trying to see as much as you can is the least you can do. The crowds can be a bit tedious, however, and if it threatens to chase you away, that’s okay. Just stay out of the fantasyland area and you avoid most of the people with strollers.